It’s been a strange year for the business world (and in general, of course). With so many jobs lost due to COVID-19, but new businesses emerging to serve the needs of a world in crisis, candidates and prospective employers are eager to get back to something akin to normalcy. And if you’re running a business, then you should do what you can to take advantage of the incredible pool of talent on the market at the moment. The opportunity won’t be there forever.
When you invest in recruitment, though, what should you prioritize? Skills are always significant, yes, as is general ability. Attitude is another thing that makes a big difference: someone positive and enthusiastic will bring a lot to your company. But something else you need to consider is the importance of building a team of professionals from varied backgrounds.
Why does this matter so much? Well, you could be cynical and note that social and government pressure makes it impossible to ignore, but it’s genuinely important to have a varied team. In this post, we’re going to look at the reasoning. Let’s get started.
People Like to Be Helped by Those WHo Understand Them
It’s more valuable than ever before to establish a brand that people actually want to support, and a key part of that is showing that you understand your target audience. Given that your target audience is very likely to encompass myriad demographics, why shouldn’t your roster of employees? You can then use this as part of your marketing strategy, getting workers to talk about the inner workings of your team and making it clear that you’re not just looking to exploit people for easy profit: you actually want to run a respectable company.
Now, you don’t need to obsess over exact proportions and hire people who precisely represent those you’re trying to reach. Just show that your team members can genuinely sympathize with your audience members, and they’ll be more inclined to trust you. Just look at how a company like VA Claim Pros earns trust in a delicate niche like healthcare (more specifically veteran benefits) by asserting its status as a veteran-led business. It adds much-needed credibility.
Limited Hiring Pools Inevitably Miss Out on Top Talents
When you set out to search for viable candidates, you might well identify some restrictions to make the process easier. Maybe you’ll say they need to be native speakers of your national language, for instance: not unreasonable in principle, you contend, since communication is important. You might say they should live fairly close to your office so you can easily arrange team meetings. Then perhaps you’ll factor in academic and business achievements. Don’t you want someone with an impressive record of success?
Well, this is a deeply flawed way to recruit because it allows some fantastic talents to slip through the cracks. Do you really think that everyone worth hiring will come from a particular type of background? Especially now that we have the technology (per Zapier) to deal with the minor issues accompanying remote working (even across the globe), there’s no good reason not to keep your search as broad as possible and give people chances to surprise you.
Having Distinct Perspectives is Essential for Improving
Lastly, you need to think about the process by which businesses improve. Those that don’t change with the times are invariably left behind, so what’s necessary to drive this change? Creativity, of course: enough to come up with solutions to new problems and fresh solutions to old ones. Resources, yes: it’s hard for a company to grow if it never has enough money to stop and invest in some organizational changes (committing to sustainability, for instance, as so many huge companies are).
But it’s hard to know what the problems are — and where there’s room to develop — when everyone in the business has broadly the same perspective. When you hire employees from different backgrounds, you have ready access to wildly distinct takes on the past, present and future of the company. You can gather that feedback, parse it, and come up with a direction that everyone’s happy with. The net result will be a business that’s vastly better across the board.
Employee diversity isn’t something to be forced, but it should be a natural consequence of a forward-thinking and practical approach to running a business in 2020. If you’re open to hiring from all walks of life, locations, and backgrounds, then you’ll inevitably see a bump in the variety of your team — and this will work to your advantage.
About the Author: Rodney Laws has more than a decade of experience providing marketing advice to online entrepreneurs and businesses. He’s set up and marketed his own businesses and consulted on crafting campaigns for established companies. See what Rodney can do to help you or your business by heading over to EcommercePlatforms.io and visiting @EcomPlatformsio for even more news and views on marketing as an Ecommerce brand.